Maungdaw: The Burmese border security force Nasaka is still carrying out illegal taxations on cross-border trades being operated by the local traders crossing through the Nat River between Maungdaw in Arakan State and Teknaf in Bangladesh.
A female trader who is trading between Maungdaw and Teknaf with a one-day border pass told Narinjara that Nasaka personnel are still levying heavy illegal tolls on their trade.
“I have carried only a few items of goods here as I have to pay a lot to Nasaka and immigration—1,000 Kyat to Nasaka, 1,000 Kyat to Nasaka office Zaw Shein and 1,000 Kyat to immigration respectively. I have to spend altogether 5,300 Kyat including boat fare and porter charge and I can make no profit at all from my trade”, said the woman.
She said the monies being collected by Nasaka are illegal because they have not issued any receipt after taking money from the traders.
“We are just dependent on others’ goods for our trades. We are doing this business on a daily basis and most of us will have nothing to eat on the day we cannot work. Our business is still not good since arson attacks occurred in Maungdaw. But we have to continue this business because we have nothing else to do for our livelihoods”, said the woman.
The border between Burma and Bangladesh was recently opened after closing for nearly three months since the violent unrest took place on 8th of June in Maungdaw in Arakan State.
The Nasaka in-charge U Aung Gyi was reportedly sentenced to 40 years in jail on charges of corruption and irresponsibility relating to the unrest.
According to the local residents, the Nasaka forces being deployed in the border areas in Arakan State are still continuing their usual corruptions such as bribery and forcible taxation despite the fact that their widespread corruptions have recently hurt the state’s sovereignty and stability resulting in the removal and arrest of their in-charge.
The trader woman said Zaw Shein is the main Nasaka officer who orders illegal and forcible toll taxes on traders and travelers at the main border-gate locally known as POE.
She said that the traders like her with a daylong passport export clothes, cosmetics, traditional medicines, foods and other consumer goods from Burma to Bangladesh.